During the former president’s evidence in the New York civil fraud trial, Alina Habba, the former president’s lawyer, criticized Judge Arthur Engoron for asking her to “sit down” and stating that “I’m not here to hear what he has to say”.
“Why exactly am I being paid as an attorney, and why exactly are taxpayer dollars being used in this courtroom? The answer is very clear. Because Ms. [Letitia] James wants to stand right here like she did this morning and call my client a liar. Call the company fraudulent. And make a name for herself,” Habba said.
In the $250 million civil lawsuit initiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Trump testified as a witness.
When Trump’s defense lawyers started reacting to Engoron’s allegations that the former president was giving “speeches” rather than properly answering questions, the Trump allegedly became agitated and even shouted at them to stay seated.
“Mr. [Chris] Kise, can you control your client? This is not a political rally,” Engoron is reported to have said.
“This is a very unfair trial. Very, very, and I hope the public is watching.” Trump said out loud at one point.
“This country is falling apart, and if we don’t stop corruption in courtrooms where attorneys are gagged, where attorneys are not allowed to say what they need to say to protect their clients’ interest, it doesn’t matter what your politics are,” Habba said afterward.
“I don’t care who you are. You have a right to hire a lawyer who can put objections on the record. You have a right to hire a lawyer who can stand up and say something when they see something wrong. But I was told to sit down today,” she continued.